Catching up on some of the news going around in wrestling. No surprise that Ramos making headlines again. This time he is up for a conference award. On to the business:
- Former University of Iowa wrestler and 2014 World Team Member at 57 KG Tony Ramos is in the running for Athlete of Year in the Big Ten Conference. Ramos boasted a 32-2 on the season and 8-0 in conference duals before going on to win his first conference title in Madison. The winner of the award will be announced Monday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m. CT on BTN. Ramos will be competing against among others, Natalie Cafone another fellow Hawkeye, for this award.
- Speaking of next Monday, Matt McDonough’s match against Nahshon Garrett for the 57 KG University Nationals spot will be taking place on that day as well at 1 p.m. CT in Arizona. McDonough will try and join the likes of Tony Ramos, Brent Metcalf, and Thomas Gilman by making a World Team. McDonough placed third at the World Team Trials defeating Penn State’s Nico Megaludis to secure true third in the bracket.
- A bit of shocking news earlier this week was Iowa State assistant coach Troy Nickerson announced he would be taking the head coaching position at the University of Northern Colorado. Nickerson was known for his ability to recruit at Iowa State so him taking a head coaching position isn’t the surprise. To me the surprise was the head coaching position in particular that Nickerson decided to take. That is not a knock against the program or Nickerson, but I would have thought he could have landed a little more high profile job. Given that Nickerson was highly successful as a wrestler at Cornell, making two NCAA finals and picking up two other All-American honors, his strength in recruiting could be a huge factor. Currently the state of Colorado doesn’t boast a ton of nationally ranked talent, but Nickerson was fairly proficient in landing out of state talent to Iowa during his time in Ames. Yesterday Kyle Klingman interviewed Nickerson (Open Mat) on the ‘On The Mat’ program.
- Kevin Jackson will now look to replace his assistant who had been on his staff since the 2012 season. It will be interesting if Iowa State decides to go after Cyclone Wrestling Club head coach Trent Paulson or maybe even alum Jon Reader, who recently finished fourth at the World Team Trials. Or Jackson could even go the other way and go after a lightweight coach who has no previous ties to Iowa State. I would prefer to see the latter, as I think that is the strongest route to go for the program, but I can also see why hiring a former Cyclone great could be an attractive hire.
- If you missed it yesterday, we interviewed Southeast Polk’s Ethan Andersen about his Cadet Greco National title, and I would suggest that you take the time to get to know Ethan and contribute to his dream of wrestling for a World Title.
- Fredy Stroker was listed in Intermat’s preview of their updated grade rankings, just making the list at #10 for the senior class. If you subscribe to the Intermat Premium you can take a look at the entire list (top 100 seniors, top 50 juniors, etc.).
- A final note to pass along is Jordan Burroughs was named the 2013 John Smith Award Winner, or the USA freestyle wrestler of the year. This is the third consecutive year that Burroughs was able to win the award, and one wonders if any former Iowa wrestlers have a chance to knock Burroughs off his streak. Smart money says no, as Burroughs is arguably the best freestyle wrestler pound-for-pound in the World. However, given Tony Ramos having his incredible run to make the World Team you would think he could actually be a legitimate threat if he can sustain his success. Brent Metcalf, who scored 39 points to his opponents 0 at the US Open, and defeated Kurbanaliev at Beat the Streets is good enough to beat anyone if he is on his game. The final wrestler with Iowa ties to have a shot would be Jake Varner, who appears to be back to the form that earned him a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. The last Hawkeye to win the award was Bill Zadick in 2006, and the last Cyclone to win the award was Cael Sanderson in 2004. Sandwiched between those two wrestlers was Northern Iowa wrestling coach Tolly Thompson in 2005.